If the Star Trek 4 announcement came as a huge surprise to you, you’re not the only one.
The news was unveiled earlier in February, with Paramount said to be in talks with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldaña, and John Cho to return. J.J. Abrams will produce, while WandaVision helmer Matt Shakman will direct.
But, according to The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab), the majority – and possibly all – of the teams behind the franchise’s stars (that’s Pine, Quinto, Pegg, Urban, Saldaña, and Cho) were in the dark about any announcement, that their clients would be mentioned, and that their clients were set to be filming this year. But, per the publication’s sources, as Pine is pivotal to the film, he is the first actor to go into early talks.
The report adds that the movie still doesn’t have a finished script, along with no budget and no green light – and the budget may now have to potentially include “supersized” deals for the actors. As for why Paramount put itself on the back foot in negotiations, that’s reportedly down to wanting a “key chess piece” as it goes for investors.
It remains to be seen if Star Trek 4 can work itself out, but there have been attempts to relaunch the franchise on the big screen that never got off the ground before: Quentin Tarantino and Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley both had takes that never made it to screen.
The TV side of the franchise is going strong, though, with Star Trek: Discovery season 4 currently releasing, Star Trek: Picard season 2 debuting March 3, Strange New Worlds coming in May, and animated shows Prodigy and Lower Decks ongoing.
Star Trek 4 is slated to hit theaters on December 22, 2023. In the meantime, check out our guide to all of 2022’s upcoming movie release dates to get up to speed on this year’s biggest releases.